President Bush visits North Carolina lab, burbles about alternative fuels

Tired of explaining why other countries are pulling troops out of Iraq, President Bush switchgrassed to a favorite topic yesterday: alternative energy. A photo op at a North Carolina research facility saw the Commander in Chief don a lab coat, squint thoughtfully at a jar o’ science, and proclaim, “Fission accomplished.” OK, we made that quote up, but the rest is true. Bush used his visit to Novozymes North America, which is developing enzymes to make cellulosic ethanol, to tout his carefully nuanced vision of America’s future: “I like the idea of a president being able to say, wow, the crop report is in, we’re growing more corn than ever before, which means we’re importing less oil from overseas.” Neato! The trek came on the heels of the release of a controversial fiscal year 2008 budget that would boost research and development spending on energy, including nuclear, by 30 percent. Hey, looks like we have time for one more quote from Bush’s tour: “So is this like a distillery?” Not made up.